5 tips on a healthy lifestyle
Many factors affect your health. Some you cannot control, such as your genetic makeup or your age. But you can make changes to your lifestyle. Here are some tips for you.
When it comes to healthy eating, there is an overwhelming array of theories, diet books and online information about what to eat – which is often conflicting. Although the research is still ongoing and developing, what the experts all agree on is that our diets are too high in sugar, our portions are too big and we should eat a variety of whole natural foods.
From sugary drinks to breakfast cereal, it’s hard to get away from sugary foods. Often the sugar is hidden in canned goods or pre-packaged foods, or even in foods we think are healthy for us, such as fruit juice. The average person takes in about 22 teaspoons of added sugar each day. According to the American Heart Association the daily target should be no more than six level teaspoons for women, and nine for men—that’s for both food and beverages combined.
The easiest way to limit your sugar intake with one small change is to cut out sugary fizzy drinks. This alone can help you to lose or maintain a healthy weight, which in turn will reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Replace saturated with unsaturated fat
Fats are important for good health and proper functioning of the body. However, too much of it can negatively affect our weight and cardiovascular health. Different kinds of fats have different health effects, and some of these tips could help us keep the balance right:
We should limit the consumption of total and saturated fats (often coming from foods of animal origin), and completely avoid trans fats; reading the labels helps to identify the sources.
Eating fish 2-3 times a week, with at least one serving of oily fish, will contribute to our right intake of unsaturated fats.
When cooking, we should boil, steam or bake, rather than frying, remove the fatty part of meat, use vegetable oils.
Get on the move, make it a habit!
Physical activity is important for people of all weight ranges and health conditions. It helps us burn off the extra calories, it is good for the heart and circulatory system, it maintains or increases our muscle mass, it helps us focus, and improves overall health well-being. We don't have to be top athletes to get on the move! 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity is advised, and it can easily become part of our daily routine. We all could:
use the stairs instead of the elevator,
go for a walk during lunch breaks (and stretch in our offices in between)
make time for a family weekend activity
If you don't know your cholesterol (including the breakdown of LDL and HDL), blood pressure, and blood sugar, it's time to see your doctor. Generally speaking, for a healthy adult they should be:
Blood pressure: less than 120/80
Total cholesterol: less than 200 mg/dL
Fasting blood glucose (or blood sugar): less than 100 mg/dL
Your doctor may have different target numbers for you depending on your current medical situation and any lifelong conditions you have.
Do You Want to try a new way of healthy living?
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